operations was one made on the campaign trail. reiterated in front of marines at camp lejeune, north carolina, a month after he took office. >> let me say this as plainly as i can. by august 31, 2010, our combat mission in iraq will end. >> two months before the mid-term election. >> august 31 was fairly arbitrary. the idea was it was close to mr. obama's original promise to get all the combat forces out within 16 months of becoming president. >> cameras were rolling and the news media bit as the so-called last army brigade from fort lewis, washington, rolled across the border to kuwait on august 18. ahead of schedule, we were told by pentagon officials. the seven brigades are just those troops left behind in iraq given a new monitor, renamed advise and assist, not combat brigades.